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Rasmalai

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Rich, creamy, and melt-in-mouth dessert, “Rasmalai”. A classic Indian dessert believed to have originated from the East of India. Soft balls made of Paneer (Indian Cheese) soaked in sweet and flavored milk typically cardamom and saffron.

Close up look of Ras malai served in a blue bowl.
Rasmalai

What is Rasmalai?

In Hindi Ras means juice and malai mean cream. So Rasmalai basically translates to something that is juicy and creamy. A very common dessert for parties or festive occasions.

I love rasmalai for two reasons. First, it is made similar to rasgulla, one of my favorite desserts of all types. Secondly, it does not involve any frying. Yes, Sugar is there, but when we make it at home the sugar quantity is up to us. So basically we are eating soft cheese or paneer which is soaked in rich and creamy milk. A delicious and somewhat healthy dessert.

Rasmalai served in a blue bowl with golden lining. Seen on the side are some rose petals.
Rasmalai

Rasmalai from store-bought rasgulla

Ras malai can be made using shop-bought rasgulla or one can make rasgulla easily at home. Follow my recipe here, where I make rasgulla in a pressure cooker or open pot. If you use shop-bought rasgulla, the cooking time is reduced and all you need to do is soak the squeezed rasgulla in reduced and flavored milk.

The first step in making rasmalai is making the paneer or cheena. Very easy to do and follow my recipe here you will always make it at home. Just one thing to keep in mind is we use cow milk or milk with low-fat content for making ras malai or rasgulla. I use the normal milk here, which has 3% fat.

Rasmalai served in a blue bowl with golden lining. Seen on the side are some rose petals and a candle in a lotus shaped candle stand..
Rasmalai.

Once the paneer is done, we make a small circular disc for rasmalai. For rasgulla, we make round balls, for paneer we generally make discs. Of course, the shape does not matter. This is then cooked in boiling water on the stovetop or in a pressure cooker. 

In the meantime, milk is reduced to almost half. Sugar is added as a sweetener and flavored with saffron and cardamom. Nuts are added and the rich creamy dessert can be enjoyed/devoured. 

To reduce the time required for reducing milk, I generally use evaporated milk which is easily available in a tin here. The milk is already reduced. All I do is boil and reduce it a bit further until I reach the desired consistency.

Shelf life of Ras Malai

Since this is made with milk and milk products it is best to consume this within 2-3 days if you are in a humid or warm climate. At the maximum you can go for 4-5 days and not beyond. Keep it refrigerated at all times.

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Rasmalai served in a blue bowl with golden lining. Seen on the side are some rose petals.
Rasmalai or Ras malai
Ras malai served in a blue bowl with golden lining. Seen on the side are some rose petals.

Rasmalai

Learn how to make, Rich, creamy, and melt-in-mouth dessert, “Rasmalai”, A classic Indian dessert flavored with cardamom and saffron.
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Course: Dessert, Sweets
Cuisine: Bengali, Indian
Keyword: Diwali Recipes, Evaporated Milk, Indian Festival Food, Milk, Paneer
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Soaking Time: 8 hours
Author: Renu Agrawal-Dongre

Ingredients

To make Paneer

  • 1 ltr low-fat Milk Cow Milk
  • Juice of 1 Lemon or 2-3 Tablespoon’s Vinegar

Syrup for Rasmalai (To make the balls/disc for Rasmalai)

  • 1 liter Water
  • 75 gms sugar – Approximately 3/4 Cup
  • Few saffron strands -Optional
  • 10-12 green Cardamom seeds

Milk (Ras) For Rasmalai

  • 1 Ltr milk or 1 tin evaporated milk
  • 1 Cup Sugar – can be more or less according to taste
  • A few strands of saffron
  • Cardamom powder
  • Kewra Water -Optional

Garnish

  • 1 tbsp Chopped pistachio
  • Few strands of saffron

Instructions

Making of Cheena/Paneer

Making of The rasgulla/Disc for Rasmalai

  • Start kneading the chenna with the heel of your palm.
  • using the heel of your hand to smoothen the chenna.
  • We need to smoothen out the chenna to make softballs.
  • This process will take around 8-10 minutes.
  • The mixture is done kneading when you are able to get a soft smooth dough, without any lumps.
  • In the pot of pressure cooker or your open pot, take approximately 1 Ltr water
    1 liter Water, 75 gms sugar – Approximately 3/4 Cup
  • Add around 75-80 gms (one-fourth of the total) in the water.
  • If using saffron, add it now.
    A few strands of saffron
  • Bring the water to a boil.
  • In the meantime divide the dough into equal size balls. Around 2 cm in diameter. Size can be adjusted as needed and depending on your pan or cooker size.
  • Press the balls in between your hands so that the mixture comes together and it helps to make a tight ball.
  • Press and add 1-2 seeds of cardamom. (This step is optional)
    10-12 green Cardamom seeds
  • Now roll them lightly in between your palms to make a smooth and crack-free ball.
    The chenna balls being rolled to perfection, without cracks
  • Press it gently to make a circular disc.
    Rasmalai Disc arranged on a white plate.
  • Similarly, roll the remaining balls and make discs.

Cooking of Rasgulla or Disc for Rasmalai using Cooker Method

  • Once you have made all the discs, and once the water starts boiling, drop all the discs gently into the boiling water.
    Rasgulla getting cooked in sugary boiling water.
  • Take 1 whistle on full pressure.
  • Now immediately lower the heat to a minimum.
  • Set the timer to 5 minutes and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Switch off the gas after 5 minutes.
  • Remove all the pressure from the cooker as shown in the video. Do not open the lid of the cooker.
  • Once the cooker is cooled down, approximately after half an hour, open the lid.
    Rasmalai or Rasgulla getting soaked in sugar syrup.
  • Let the rasmalai cool down completely.

Cooking of Rasgulla or Disc for Rasmalai using Open Pot Method

  • Once you have made all the discs, and once the water starts boiling, drop all the discs gently into the boiling water.
    Rasgulla getting cooked in sugary boiling water.
  • I have used Dermera Sugar and hence the color is brown
  • Let the discs or rasmalai cook on medium to high heat for 20-25 minutes.
  • After 20-25 minutes, switch off the stove.
  • Let the rasmalai cool down completely.
    Rasmalai or Rasgulla getting soaked in sugar syrup.

Making of Milk or Thickening of milk

    From Milk

    • In a heavy bottom, pan add milk.
      1 Ltr milk or 1 tin evaporated milk
    • On a slow to medium stove allow the milk to come to a boil.
    • Once it has boiled let the milk simmer.
    • Keep on stirring in between or else the milk sticks to the bottom.
    • Once the milk has reduced to half and the consistency is almost thickened, add sugar and saffron.
      Few strands of saffron, 1 Cup Sugar
      Sugar added to milk.
    • Continue simmering until all the sugar has dissolved.
      Making of Rabdi or Ras for Rasmalai.
    • After adding sugar, one would need to again thicken the milk a little.

    From Evaporated milk

    • In a heavy bottom, pan add milk.
      1 Ltr milk or 1 tin evaporated milk
    • On a slow boil, allow the milk to come to a boil stirring in between.
    • Continue simmering the milk, until you reach the desired consistency. I.e. the milk is almost thickened.
    • Add sugar and saffron.
      1 Cup Sugar, Few strands of saffron
      Sugar added to milk.
    • Continue simmering until all the sugar has dissolved.
      Making of Rabdi or Ras for Rasmalai.
    • After adding sugar, one would need to again thicken the milk a little.

    Soaking of the Rasmalai in Sweetened Milk

    • Once the milk has thickened, let the milk cool down, but not completely.
    • We need slightly warm milk, like lukewarm.
    • Once cooled down add kewra water, cardamom powder and mix.
      Kewra Water, Cardamom powder
    • Gently squeeze the excess liquid from the rasmalai or the rasgulla disc.
    • Add the squeezed rasmalai to the milk.
    • The disc should be well soaked in the milk.
      Rasmalai or Rasgulla getting soaked in Milk syrup.
    • Once cooled, keep it refrigerated.
    • Garnish with chopped pistachio and saffron.
      1 tbsp Chopped pistachio, Few saffron strands
    • Let them soak in the refrigerator for 8-10 hours for best results.
    • Keep refrigeratd and consume within 2-3 days.

    Notes

    • Standard US Size cups and spoons are used. 1 cup = 237 ml, 1 teaspoon = 5 ml
    • Chenna should not have too much water and at the same time should not be too dry.
    • Kneading the chenna is crucial, so do not rush this step. It should be smooth.
    • While making a disc, make sure you first press it in between your hands to make a tight ball. Then press it slightly to form a disc.
    • There should not be too much time spent between making a disc and putting it in boiling water.
     
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